Concerns raised after suspected ‘snaring’

The pheasants were found close to the O'Neill Road entrance with orange string around their necks.
The pheasants were found close to the O'Neill Road entrance with orange string around their necks.

Residents in Newtownabbey have been left shocked following the deaths of two birds in a suspected animal cruelty case at a park in the region.

It is understood the bodies of two pheasants were discovered in the Valley Park by a dog walker on Monday, November 27.

The dead birds were found on November 27.

The dead birds were found on November 27.

The dog walker said: “I noticed the dead birds at approximately 11am in the park, close to the O’Neill Road entrance.

“They have string around their necks, so they have been snared in some way. It is shocking that anyone would do this, especially so close to the Hospice.”

Commenting on November 27, a spokesperson for Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council said: “The council have not received any reports of dead pheasants in the Valley Park.

“Council Park wardens will carry out an inspection of the site today and remove any birds present.

“Any future incidents on council property should be reported to the council directly via 0289034 0139 or email leisure.admin@antrimandnewtownabbey.gov.uk

“The council do not have responsibility for the welfare of wild birds, this would be the responsibility of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.”

Detailing his concerns, Alliance representative Cllr John Blair said: “I am very concerned following this development in the Valley Park. The area close to the pond and O’Neill Road is a vital resource for wildlife.

“Anyone who has information about illegal or suspected illegal activity should report this to council, USPCA or PSNI immediately.”